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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
Voices from Iraq: Samira
BBCArabic.com spoke to six Iraqi women about their lives in the country following the war and their hopes for the future.

Civil servant, 22

Engineer, 31

Um Samir:
Housewife, 51
Student, 18

Teacher, 36

Student, 17


It is impossible to have a war that does not leave a trail of woes in its wake.

We suffered on all fronts because of the first war to liberate Kuwait. I would need many pages to summarise exactly what I mean.

The impact of sanctions (which were imposed on Iraq following the invasion of Kuwait) was harsher than the pain caused by the war with Iran, during which we lost the flower of our youth and the best of our men.

The thing about sanctions was that they penetrated every aspect of our lives.

The middle classes and those with limited incomes were hardest hit.

The share of pain endured by women (because of sanctions) was not less than that suffered by men.

In my view the impact of the recent war, despite its many negative sides, was less severe than that of earlier ones.

I think the negative aspects that have come to the surface were not caused by the war as such or by the American occupation alone.

Rather, these things happened because of the change of the governing regime.

A fall of a regime is not a small matter.

In Iraq there are those who support the previous government and there are those who are opposed to it.

These tensions have resulted in the disturbances we see and the reactions we witness, as well as in the emergence of political groupings, some of which operate openly while others do so in secret.

Some of these groupings threaten Iraqi security.

Worse still has been the targeting of places of worship, be they Muslim or Christian, as well as acts of robbery and kidnapping.

The intention behind such acts is to keep the situation unstable so that the perpetrators can claim that the situation under the previous regime was better.

My hope is that Iraqis who perpetrate these acts turn to peaceful means, for the sake of the 26 million people who happen to have been born in Iraq.

I have faith that the situation will get better, even if it takes a while.

Send us your comments on Samira's views using the form below.

I hope it does get better and that it happens quickly, all I as an individual have wanted for so long now is for there to be peace, for there to be opportunities for the women and girls to make their way even as they hold closely the ideals of their heritage. The few that are making it so hard for so many are fighting against structure and also against humanity...I pray for you all...and our troops for a good conclusion to come from all of this pain. God bless you all.
Margie, Saint Louis - USA

Samira and the others are inspiration. I cannot even begin to imagine the life that they have led, and the things they have seen. I hope that our involvement in Iraq pays dividends for all Iraqis over time. Things look problematic due to the security situation now, but I know the vast majority of Americans want Iraq to prosper and grow.
Christopher, Hamden, USA

Iraq is undergoing changes: from a war-torn totalitarian state to a democratic state. The transition is painful because of the absence of a working system, and mature political parties. You don't see such confusion when a new prime minister is elected in England, or a new president is taking office in the White House; because both of these countries has a mature, working system in place. Having a new prime minister or president just like having a new administrator of the system; and they're subject to the watchful eyes of rival political parties and the free press, so they cannot abuse the power that the people given to them thru' elections. I believe, giving time, the Iraqi people will build themselves a strong, prosperous, and democratic state.
Sam, Honolulu, USA

It takes time to rebuild from the fall of a regime. Like you, I have faith that the situation will get better.
Harold, Cleveland, OH USA

It is a sad thing that the Iraqi people have to go through these troubled times. If they can pull together, the sum of the whole would be much greater than any of it's parts.
Ahmad Ramzi, USA


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